Showing posts from November, 2022


  ©Wendell Griffen, 2022 By a unanimous vote (12-0) on November 22, the Pulaski County Quorum Court passed Ordinance 22-I-75 adopting a budget for Pulaski County for January 1 thru December 31, 2023. That budget ordinance includes funding for all probation officer positions in the Fifth Division of Pulaski Circuit Court. On behalf of myself as the current Circuit Judge for Fifth Division, Judge-Elect LaTonya Austin Honorable (who will succeed me on January 1, 2023), the probation officers, their probation clients, the human service providers who assist probation clients, and the people of Pulaski County who benefit from the work our probation officers do, we say a sincere “Thank You!” to the Justices of the Peace for their vote. Thanks to the Quorum Court Budget Committee (led by Justice of the Peace Donna Massey) for recommending passage of the budget with funding for Fifth Division probation officers. Thank you to the other Justices of the Peace on the Quorum Court for voting


  ©Wendell Griffen, 2022   During the November 15 meeting of the Agenda Committee for the Pulaski County Quorum Court  Judge-Elect LaTonya Austin Honorable and I alerted the Justices of the Peace during the Public Comments period that County Comptroller Mike Hutchens and his associates (including County Attorney Adam Fogelman), substituted a budget for Fifth Division on October 7 that was $180,156 lower than the budget proposal the Budget Committee reviewed and approved on October 6.  When Judge-Elect Honorable later discovered the discrepancy, she attempted to speak with County Judge Barry Hyde about it by phone and in person. Neither effort was fruitful. Judge Hyde hung up on Judge-Elect Honorable during the phone call. When Judge-Elect Honorable approached Judge Hyde following the October 25 Quorum Court meeting and asked if she could speak with him about the Fifth Division budget proposal, he curtly responded “No” and stormed from the meeting room. His abrasive behavior was


  ©Wendell Griffen, 2022   The November 2022 midterm elections in the United States provide the latest evidence about the priorities of white voters who call themselves evangelical Christian conservatives. In Georgia, those voters are the primary constituency supporting Herschel Walker’s candidacy to defeat Reverend Raphael Warnock’s bid for reelection to the US Senate. In Arkansas (where I live), those voters supported Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her successful candidacy to defeat Chris Jones and become the next Governor. In both states, white evangelical Christian conservatives supported candidates known for dishonesty. Sanders was press secretary during Donald Trump’s presidency of serial lies. Walker, who Trump recruited to run for Senate, has lied about his academic record at the University of Georgia, his marital history, and his views on abortion. Why? Because white evangelical Christian conservatives are determined to seize and wield power to maintain white supremac


  ©Wendell Griffen, 2022     Barry Hyde, the County Judge in Pulaski County, Arkansas, is attempting to defund the probation staff of the Fifth Division in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, the division I have served since January 1, 2011. I recently wrote about the good work done by probation officers and asked that readers urge members of the Pulaski County Quorum Court and Judge Hyde to continue funding their salaries and benefits. . State law requires that Pulaski County pay the salaries and benefits for probation officers. Judge Hyde knows that state law requires that the Quorum Court appropriate funds to pay the salaries and benefits for probation officers. Yet, Judge Hyde is trying to get Pulaski County to default on its legal obligation to fund probation positions. He is trying to maneuver – if not manipulate – the Quorum Court to support the default. Why does he want to do that